Culture

10 unsettling ways selfies will creep into life – like it or not

By Kitty Knowles 27 January 2017
Summary

We're not just talking 'Selfie-pay' finance. Selfie health, shopping, and car locks are all on the cards.

Britons take more than a billion selfies every year – there’s selfie artselfie toys for kids, and the UK even has a ‘selfie bench‘.

On average, we take 24 selfies a month and take 5 selfie pictures before we are happy with the end result.

Not everyone is a fan, but naysayers will have to shape up, as the selfie is coming for them too.

They’re going to infiltrate your life in a number of unexpected ways.

Surprising selfie uses

You could soon use your smartphone camera for everything from retail to medicine and leisure, a new report led by Futurizon futurologist Dr Ian Pearson.

“Selfies are well on their way to transitioning from frivolous fad to technological phenomenon, and provide food for thought to a number of industries,” said Pearson, creator of the Future of Selfies report.

“The potential is huge.”

What do you make of the 10 ways the selfie is predicted to sneak into your life? 

Pic: Future of Selfies report.
Pic: Future of Selfies report.

1) Digging deep into your date’s emotions

In the future you could well use selfie technology to get to grips with how your lover really feels.

All you have to do is take a selfie with your date, and use software to analyse their emotions.

Obvious tells could include how big a person’s pupils are (studies suggest they dilate when we fancy someone) and body language.

2) Diagnosing your medical condition

Over a quarter of people would prefer to see their GP via a selfie or video call, the report finds.

It goes onto suggest that doctors will provide initial diagnosis via selfie, cutting costs, and leading to quicker treatment.

The practice would be particularly appropriate to help diagnose skin rashes, warts, or even cancers, where artificial intelligence could decide whether or not you need to be referred to a real doctor.

3) Fixing your finances

We’ve told you before that banks are obsessed with selfie payments, and it looks like so-called ‘SelfiePay’ really is on the horizon; especially as nearly half of 25-34 year olds want them.

Selfies, and particularly video recognition, will become increasingly important in financial transactions, suggests the report.

Companies like Square have already started using face recognition to deliver payments in coffee shops – you can even use a particular expression as your ‘password’.

4) Framing fun experiences

Don’t groan: selfie-taking is likely to be more and more incorporated into leisure activities – think of it as an extension of the way photobooths have crept into all kinds of clubs and events…

Around half of British thrill-seekers said they’d like to try a ‘selfiecoaster’ – a roller coaster that puts you in control of capturing your experience on the ride, suggests Future of Selfies.

If an exhibition or experience can have a built-in phone smartcarrier, chances are it will.

Pic: Future of Selfies report.
Pic: Future of Selfies report.

5) Photographing your fitness regime

As if there weren’t enough posers in the gym already, selfies look set to become a standard part of our fitness regimes.

Image capture will soon work with artificial intelligent software to monitor your body, test your heart rate and even suggest how to improve your technique.

Already AI analysis of body movements can estimate your calorie burn, and give you tips of your workout. Gym bunnies beware.

6) Crafting 3D fashion

Fashionistas will soon be snapping themselves happy in the hunt for the perfect made-to-measure clothes.

If a series of selfies (or a video) can be used to create a 3D model, it will be even easier to order items on-demand, custom made to your measurements.

A selfie taken as you twirl in a shop’s changing room could even help stores to point you to the best size off the rack.

Read more: Shoppable Netflix series & virtual fitting rooms: Google’s top new fashion tech companies

Pic: Future of Selfies report.
Pic: Future of Selfies report.

7) Trying on digital outfits

A step further into the future of fashion, could even see clothes digitally rendered onto your selfie.

Imagine being able to ‘try on’ different outfits at the touch of a button, pairing different items, or flipping between different colour options.

8) Earning you treats

Selfies will even potentially be used as a type of social currency, suggests the study.

You might pay for entry to the cinema or a tourist attraction through a selfie – with certain images acting as advertising, and earning you discounts.

Would you snap your face for free entry?

Pic: Future of Selfies report.
Pic: Future of Selfies report.

9) Sport selfies by drone

We’ve all seen how popular GoPros are, especially when paired with a cutting-edge drone.

Soon though, the drones and robots of the future will be designed with your smartphone in mind – so you can capture the most extreme selfies possible.

The Future of Selfies report suggests that these selfie droids could even help you take better pictures when you’re in a dangerous situation.

Here’s hoping that sees the number of selfie-related deaths go into decline….

Read more: Selfies are more deadly than sharks

10) Locking your home and car

We’ve seen it suggested already, and it looks like smart locks are the next generation in security.

Whether you want to get into your home, car or office, a selfie holds the key.

Just don’t leave your smartphone at home.

Read more: Walk recognition: Unlock your car with your distinctive swagger